Zheng Wei, Ph.D., Co-founder, CEO

Dr. Zheng Wei has been serving as our CEO since he co-founded the company in 2012. He has over 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience in the autoimmune diseases and inflammation therapeutic areas. Prior to co-founding Connect, Dr. Zheng was Director of Immunology at Arena Pharmaceuticals where he oversaw its immunology discovery programs. Prior to serving at Arena, Dr. Zheng was a founding scientist at ChemoCentryx. During his 10-year tenure at ChemoCentryx, he led the implementation of the company's proprietary technology platform, and the discovery of drug candidates that entered Phase II and Phase III clinical trials for autoimmune disease indications including Crohn's disease. His discovery research contributed significantly to the landmark strategic alliance between the company and GSK. Prior to joining ChemoCentryx, Dr. Zheng was a scientist at Glycomed (acquired by Ligand Pharmaceuticals). He also conducted immunology research at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Zheng is an inventor of 16 issued patents and several pending patent applications on immunology related therapeutic agents and technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California at Davis. He has been selected to the National 1000Talents Plan of China.

William (Wubin) Pan, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and Chairman of the Board

Dr. Pan is a co-founder of Connect and has been serving as our President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He has over 25 years of experiences in biopharmaceutical R&D including 10 years in Europe and North America. Prior to co-founding Connect, Dr. Pan co-founded Crown Bioscience Inc., a US venture-backed US company with major operations in China (Beijing & Shanghai) providing CRO services to international biopharmaceutical companies. He has served at various executive leadership positions at the company, including China President, Chief Operation Officer, and Executive Vice President. While there, Dr. Pan made seminal contributions to the company's growth into a global leader in translational oncology drug development services. (The company went IPO in 2017 and was later acquired for $400 million by JSR of Japan.). Prior to Crown Bioscience, Dr. Pan was the Vice President at TsingHuaYuanXing Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen, China) after he returned to China as an entrepreneur in 2000. Between 2001 and 2006, he co-founded and served as Vice President and/or General Manager for two other biotech companies, where he played key roles for the development of several gene-based therapeutic biologics. He was involved in the development and successful marketing of several biomedical products. Dr. Pan obtained his Ph.D. in Biology in Sussex University (UK) and postdoctoral training at University of California at Berkeley. He holds an MBA from Tsing-Hua University.

Jeffery White, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jeffery White has 20 years of experience in clinical development and medical affairs in the pharmaceutical industry. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. White served as a consultant and as VP Clinical Development at Audentes Therapeutics, a rare disease-focused, gene therapy biotech company. From 2006 to 2014, he served as a consultant providing highly-skilled, senior-level physician support to biopharmaceutical companies, including Genentech/Roche, GSK, Biomarin, Sapphire Therapeutics, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Morphosys AG, Stiefel Laboratories, and Heron Therapeutics. Dr. White began his industry career at Merck in 1997 as Director of Regulatory Affairs, where he worked on major cardiovascular endpoint trials, IND filings, pediatric exclusivity, a priority review of a NDA and an FDA Advisory Committee Meeting. In his 20 years in the industry, Dr. White has designed and conducted clinical trials in Phases 1 through 4 in a variety of therapeutic areas including inflammatory bowel disease, dermatology, rheumatology, cardiovascular diseases, critical care, neurology, pain, ophthalmology, headache and in multiple orphan diseases, with filings from IND to NDA/BLA. Dr. White received his B.S. from Stanford University and medical training from the University of Washington and Harvard Medical School. 

Qizhong Song, Ph.D., VP of Corporate Development

Dr. Qizhong Song has been VP of Corporate Development at Connect since 2018. He has more than 20 years of business and R&D experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Connect, he was VP of Operations at Hua Medicine, where he was responsible for HR, admin, IT, financial control and procumbent, facility and site management, government funding and public relations/media. From 2012-2015, he was legal representative and head of Operations and Business Development of RuiYi Biopharmaceutics (Shanghai), where he played a key role in bringing an internally-discovered first-in-class antibody drug candidate into global clinical trial. Prior to RuYi, Dr. Song worked as Director of Marketing and Sales at OriGene, where he established commercial organization and grew business by more than 100% annual growth rate. Previously, Dr. Song was Manager of Pharmaceutical/Biotech Segment at Applied Biosystems (China). He also held the position of Business Development Manager at Novartis (China). Dr. Song has 17 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Oncology from the University of Queensland, Australia. He obtained a MBA from Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Stuart J. Swiedler, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Stuart J. Swiedler is a biotechnology consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology field, primarily as a scientist and executive at Glycomed, Inc., and as a clinical scientist and senior executive at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Over a 10-year period at BioMarin, he contributed to both the non-clinical and clinical aspects of drug development for the regulatory approvals of the orphan drugs Aldurazyme, Naglazyme and Kuvan. He continues to focus on orphan drug products, and providing his clinical expertise to both biotech companies and investment firms. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University at Albany, and his MD and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a residency program in Anatomic Pathology at Yale University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke.


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